F-35 Survives HASC Markup Attack; Panel Raises Ford Carrier Caps

By Michael Bruno
Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

The final 2007 defense law set a cost cap for CVN-78 of $10.5 billion, plus room for inflation and other factors, and subsequent carriers at $8.1 billion each. Sean Stackley, assistant Navy secretary, last month testified that increases are “unacceptable,” and he asserted that the armed service is taking steps to stop them.

But in its 2014 budget request, the Navy asked for additional spending for “fact-of-life” increases, entailing permission for $811 million more in 2014 and 2015, bringing CVN-78 itself to about $12.8 billion (Aerospace DAILY, May 10).

On the Littoral Combat Ship, seapower Chairman Randy Forbes made good on a promise to push the Navy on answering whether the so-called modular ship’s planned mission systems are concurrent with the development of the program’s two different hulls.

“This dichotomy in capability development appears excessive and the committee believes it should be better aligned to ensure future success of this program,” according to Forbes’ amendment language for the bill. Specifically, the language calls for the Government Accountability Office to report on the status of the whole LCS program by March 2014.

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